Sunday, February 29, 2004

Quantum Leap Conundrum

Well, you know that I am resident sci-fi mommy here at MAL. So today I was watching the Quantum Leap marathon (in honor of leap year) on the Sci-Fi Channel (just about the only thing I've watched on it since they cancelled Farscape--not that I'm bitter). They showed the series finale and hubby and I discussed how it was a satisfying series finale because it wrapped things up while allowing you to know that the adventure would continue. However, we disagree about the meaning of the finale. (And if you care about this sort of thing for a series that ended so long ago--I'm spoiling stuff).

The Bartender person talks to Sam about a sabbatical before a difficult mission. He asks Sam where he would like to go. Sam says home, but then says he needs to go talk to Al's wife instead. The last shot in the show is the line that "Dr. Sam Becket never returns home)."

Now I always interpreted this to mean that Sam was never seen by the Quantum Leap Project again. I thought that he was given a choice of how he would like to spend his last moments in a sabbatical and that thereafter, he would resume random leaping ad infinitum, only this time without the help of Al or anyone at the Quantum Leap Project (which, by the way, I thought was pretty crappy for his wife, but I'm a woman so I think that way). I thought that he was going to be leaping alone, and the increased difficulty would come not just from the more complex problems but from the fact that he would be on his own, without back-up. Sam's decision to go to Al's wife was his final gift to a friend who had been through so much with him--Sam didn't save him when he was a prisoner of war, but he could do this one thing, before going away.

Hubby thinks that there is no reason, based on the series finale, to think that Al was unable to help Sam at least some of the time. He feels certain that Al continues to work with Sam after the finale. After all, it says that he never returned home, not that he was never seen again.

Anyone out there care and have any thoughts about this?
Of Course

Plopping down to do anything is contigent upon my daughter actually allowing me to do so.

Oscar night

When Hubby finishes watching his quota of sporting events, I plan to plop down in front of the tv and watch the Oscars. I have no vested interests this year, so I have no idea how long I will actually last. Oscar is interesting because everyone in the industry seems to take themselves so seriously and there is always a little drama. Sometimes the drama is in the fashion (or lack thereof). Sometimes it's in who did and didn't get an award.

Knowing what a kick I get out of the whole shindig, Hubby forwarded this link from ESPN, which discusses various Oscar injustices. I definitely agree with the assessment of Haley Joel Osmet's loss to Michael Caine and Russell Crowe's loss to Kevin Spacey. The commentary on Robert Downey Jr.'s loss is quite funny. I always assumed that Russell Crowe's Oscar was for his work in the Insider and for not even receiving a nomination for LA Confidential (but I certainly didn't want the Oscar to go to Tom Hanks for Castaway). And I thought that Denzel Washington's Oscar for Training Day was for any of a vast number of movies for which he should have won. I think that Oscar's actor picks go for career, rather than the film for which the actor is actually nominated.

And I have to say I agree with most of the travesties in the Best Picture column:

Gladiator (much as I loved it) won over Crouching Tiger? Seriously?
The Insider lost to American Beauty (which made me weep and was the first DVD I ever received but still....)
Worst of all: LA Confidential lost to Titanic. LA Confidential is simply one of the finest movies ever. Hubby will probably say it is too early to tell, but I really believe that LAC will be a classic. The Titanic simply looked pretty, and was a great recreation of the ship itself, but LAC had style and substance.

Which leads me to my hope for this year: I really want the Return of the King to win best picture. And since evil hobbit Michael Moore won last year for a documentary that wasn't actually a documentary, I think good hobbit Peter Jackson should win this year for the final installment of a classic series. But as I said before, Oscar will probably go for some arty piece . In the end, it doesn't matter because ROTK is a beautiful, moving film.
Movies on the big screen

Courtesy of the Mommy Blawg, here are the last five movies I have seen in a theater:

  1. The Return of the King which I discussed here
  2. Legally Blonde 2 (I'm so sorry we didn't see Pirates of the Caribbean instead)
  3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  4. Star Wars Attack of the Clones
  5. Spiderman

I feel certain I have left something out, but I can't figure it out. Well, hubby will read this and correct me later.
Happy Leap Day!

I hope you're enjoying your extra February Day.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Women's History in my own backyard

I'm ashamed to say that I didn't know that Cleveland is home to the International Women's Air and Space Museum until I read the local school's newletter today. (Considering I begged hubby to let me see the Women's Hall of Fame when we went to Seneca Falls, you'd think I would know about it--My new mission: find the women's museums.)

Through a grant from Alcoa, the IWASM is working with schools in northeastern Ohio to encourage girls in the 7th through 9th grades who have an interest in science, math and technology. Okay, reallistically, that description couldn't be farther from me when I was in 7th through 9th grades, but my darling daughter may show a desire and an aptitude for the stuff.

The site has information on many women involved in aviation and space, including current astronaut candidates--so cool. My best friend's grandfather photographed Amelia Earhart. I may have to get the Amelia Earhart doll for my daughter's birthday. It would be for her of course.
New Breastfeeding info at Kelly Mom

Kelly Mom has posted some new information on the presence of flame-retarding chemicals in breast milk. One of the few things I don't worry about simply because if it's in breastmilk, it's only an indication of the contamination that is throughout our bodies. I love how the articles emphasize that breastfeeding is still best for baby and mom.

Kelly Mom now has a page for breastfeeding and speech development. Since the little one is quite talkative, this is another area I don't worry about too much. She has a musical little voice as she speaks in her pretty language. I don't have a complete dictionary for her, but it's wonderful to hear.
My mom heard her in the background while we were on the phone. She said, "It's like she's having a real conversation!"
I said, "She is."
"No, I mean with words and intonation."
"She is; we just don't understand her yet."

I'm just wondering if she will be such a chatterbox when she's speaking our language.
Hooray for Me!

Which HP Kid Are You?

Good news for kids on the low end of the growth charts

It seems that skinny babies whose weight gain out strips their growth are at a higher risk for diabetes. "Doctors should reconsider the idea that small babies should get extra calories to encourage rapid growth, said Dr. Francine Kaufman, a pediatric endocrinologist at Children's Hospital-Los Angeles and past president of the American Diabetes Association. 'We need to look at not overfeeding some of these children,' she said."

Access the abstract here.
I'm sorry to hear that you're sick, ME1. Please, if you possibly can, go to a doctor. If these are the same collection of germs that your daughter and I suffered/are suffering from, it's quite possible you have strep throat. I went to the doctor Monday and got a lecture for not going in earlier...and despite taking some heavy-duty antibiotics, I'm still feeling like crud. Catch it early sweetie...because this stinks.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Another link between breastfeeding and SIDS prevention

The Mommy Blawg posts a blurb on another possible SIDS preventing aspect of breastfeeding: breastfed babies wake more easily. I'm not sure that science completely supports the proposition that breastfeeding prevents SIDS--after all some breastfed babies still die from SIDS--but breastfeeding seems to provide some protection against SIDS. However, even the suggestion that breastfeeding could lessen the risk of SIDS was enough for me to commit to breastfeeding for the first year. Heck, the mere suggestion of SIDS reduction also led me to allow my daughter to use a pacifiereven though it was supposed to be bad for our breastfeeding relationship--it wasn't. I cannot think of many things more horrible in life than having medical professionals tell you they simply have no idea why your perfectly healthy baby died.

I think that what we now call SIDS, will someday be shown to be a variety of conditions or diseases each with a different "cure," although breastfeeding, with its natural immune systems boosters, will be part of the solution in many cases.
One of those stories that strikes terror in a Mommy's heart

Speaking of worrying, at Loco Parentis Katie Alison Granju talks about a scary incident with her daughter at a horse show over the weekend. Very frightening for any mom and child, but at least it had a happy ending. Here in Cleveland, we will be dealing with the disappearance and death of Shakira Johnson for some time. I was appalled that the police didn't arrest him after the second child spoke up and said he'd been approached by the same person. I think that is the mommy side talking more so than the lawyer side, but I've seen weaker cases charged as "attempted"... in "throw the book at him and see what sticks Cuyahoga County."

I just hug my daughter closer and hope I can keep her safe.
Mommy worries

I'm a little out of sorts so my husband had to take the little darling to class tonight (just your average run and tumble with other kids class). As they were leaving I cautioned him a few times to be careful. He finally said, "What's up? Did you have a premonition or something?" No. I'm just sick. And I worry when I'm not in control of things.

And with kids it seems that on some level, you are rarely in control. I've wondered if my excessive worries are a sign of something worse. I was somewhat relieved when I stumbled across this post at DotMoms. It appears that if I am insane, I am in excellent company because the world is full of mommies who go into extended worry mode. I worry that when she learn to swim she'll go to far and be attacked by sharks. I worry that if we visit her grandpa in Florida, the alligator who lives in the waters near the retirement community's nine hole golf course will zero in on her. I worry that she jump out of my arms an into danger in an astonishing variety of ways. Mind you, I am never the perpetrator of harm in this little worrying daymares; instead, I'm always wondering how I will be able to protect my little one from x,y and especially z.

I used to think my mom was crazy when she fussed about how she worried. Now look at me. I am my mother.

My extensive experience with worry has caused me to think that if I'm not the only mommy in the world who worries so absurdly, is there some biological and/or chemical reason for our fears? Has someone conducted a scientific study on this issue? There is so much focus on post-partum depression, but no one warned me about the level of fear I would periodically experience--except my brother.

I'm apparently not the only person wondering about all this worrying. Literary Mama has a book review of A Potent Spell: Mother Love and the Power of Fear by Janna Malamud Smith. Written by a psychotherapist, A Potent Spell is less a scientific study and more a literary/historical commentary. I was particularly attracted by this quote: "The maternal mind is a sheepdog herding a flock in the rain -- nudging, circling, barking, nipping heels, keeping an eye out for predators, and panting with effort that may or may not accomplish its aim. We sense that somewhere, maybe close or maybe not, wolves threaten. We labor to keep them away." According to the reviewer, the book goes off on tangents from time to time, and she may rehash common feminist views of history that don't pertain to her premise, but the book is a "captivating" read. Barnes and Noble has excerpts from Publisher's Weekly, Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews.

I am intrigued by this book, although I get the feeling that I might find it too simplistic for what I'm trying to understand. I'm less concerned about the alleged detrimental impact all this worry has on my career, and more concerned about how it affects me and my child (and to some degree my husband) as people and as a family. At least I have some reassurance now that I'm not alone in worrying.
Ohio Sex Offenders

ME2 had a question regarding a statement made in the Toledo Blade article. I can certainly understand her confusion, since the article, while very descriptive about the new technology, fails miserably at describing even the basics of the sex offender law.

Simply stated, there are a few categories of sex offenders in Ohio: Sex Offenders, Habitual Sex Offenders, or Sexual Predators. Juvenile Offenders are classified as: Juvenile Offender Registrants, Habitual Sex Offenders or Sexual Predators. Under Ohio's Sex Offender laws (Ohio Revised Code Chapter 2950--sorry I can't link directly to the codes), the commission of certain offenses will trigger the duty to register. The existence of certain factors will trigger higher duties. For instance, rape is a sexually oriented offense the commission of which will require an offender to become an Offender Registrant which requires him/her to register certain information with the local Sheriff's Office and to update it annually for a period of ten years. Under state law, this classification is not eligible for community notification--if you look at the facts, these are first time offenders with no extenuating circumstances.

If that same offender had a prior conviction for a sexually oriented offense, the sentencing court would be required to classify the offender as a Habitual Sex Offender (considered more serious because now we have a history of similar offenses) which in turn requires a longer period of registration with the Sheriff's Office (at least 20 years but may last the offenders lifetime) and may trigger what the Toledo article is really talking about: community notification. The Court may choose to require the sheriff's Office to notify the community about the presence of a Habitual Sex Offender, but the court is not required to order community notification of every Habitual Sex Offender. According to the Statute (2950.11), notices should be sent not only to neighbors within 1,000 feet of the offender's residence, but also to day care facilities, schools and public children services agency within the "specified geographical notification area," which according to Ohio Administrative Code 109-5-2-01 is the school district where the sex offender resides.

Further, if the Court receives a psychological evaluation or other evidence indicating the fact that this same offender is likely to commit more sexually oriented offenses in the future, the Court should be classifying the offender as a Sexual Predator. This classification requires lifetime registration, quarterly updates with the Sheriff's Office and, in every case, community notification.

The Blade article also did not give direct links to the AG sex offender website. By State law, information regarding juvenile offenders may not be posted on the internet. (2950.081.) However, juvenile information is public record and you should be able to obtain it from your county sheriff's office.

The AG site contains links to County Sheriff's Offices around the state. Sheriffs have posted sex offender information on the internet for several years. However, there is no standardized information. Some sites contain an offender's name and address with a photo. Not all sites list the offense or when it occurred. Some sites give details like the age of the victim (something this mommy considers very important). I'd like to know if the victims were family, strangers or acquaintances. The AG site went live in December and is the first attempt to consolidate this information statewide. Hopefully, consistency in the information provided will come with time.

As an aside, I do check my local sex offender list periodically. I was stunned to learn that I am quite literally surrounded by sex offenders. When I walked my daughter while I was on maternity leave, I passed the houses of at least four registered sex offenders. One offender is directly across the street from a local day-care while another lives five houses down from a local park. Several live within 1,000 feet of a school, something that appears to be prohibited by 2950.031. It will be interesting to see how the State enforces that provision--I can't imagine evicting sex offenders who are actually property owners.
Family Courts in Ohio
Below ME2 asks if anyone knows about the Family Court versus Juvenile Court Model. The Ohio Supreme Court provides access to the Ohio Family Court Feasibility Study on its page covering the Family Court subcommittee of the Governor's task force on the investigation and prosecution of child abuse and child sexual abuse cases--interestingly enough, there is no page on the Ohio site for the Governor's task force. The 1999 Family Court bulletin discusses family courts in the United States.

Additionally, the Fall 2001 bulletin discusses the Family Court program focusing on Fayette, Mercer and Lorain Counties. Very interesting reads. My personal opinion is that Family Courts are the optimal model to follow, because there is so much overlap between Domestic Relations, Probate and Juvenile Divisions of the Common Pleas courts. However, the ability to issue orders varies between the Courts. For example, Temporary Restraining Orders in Domestic Violence matters can only be issued by a Domestic Relations Court; however, a TRO may have great impact on visitation or custody issues in a private custody matter or an abuse, neglect, or dependency case in the Juvenile Court. Child Support orders may be issued in Domestic Relations or Juvenile Courts, but may affect proceedings in Probate Court, as well as in the Domestic Relations or Juvenile Courts. Familes often don't understand that these three Courts are separate entities and can't understand the contradiction in orders and difficulty in navigating to the correct court for their specific issue.

Judges can be reluctant to consolidate the courts and lose their power base: in a small county, a juvenile court judge who serves as that court's Administrative Judge may not want to be folded in with the county's Probate and Domestic Relations Court judges and potentially lose control of the administration of the Court. Judges also ultimately specialize in a particular subject matter, and may be reluctant to cover juvenile matters in addition to probate or domestic issues. I once overheard a Juvenile Judge speaking disdainfully of handling wills and estates in addition to a juvenile docket. Finally, some people feel very attached to "the way things have always been done," and this can also cause reluctance to create family courts.

Many of the smaller counties in Ohio already have one judge for Juvenile and Domestic Relations matters or Juvenile and Probate matters. Franklin County (the Columbus metro area) has five judges who hear Juvenile and Domestic Relations cases. Clearly this is the trend.

The Feasibility study recommends that Ohio draft a unified "Family Code" and that the Supreme Court take the lead in encouraging and supporting the creation of Family Courts. The Spring 2001 bulletin discusses the need for a comprehensive and consolidated Family Code. I found this quote interesting: "Last summer, the
Ohio Legislative Services Commission (OLSC) adapted the product of the Task Force's labor into bill form that legislators could consider as early as summer 2001." Well it's 2004 and we haven't seen the creation of a Family Code. Since the website for the Governor's task force no longer exists, I think the job of promoting Family Courts will be solely up to the Ohio Supreme Court. I hope it continues to push for Family Courts because I think Ohio families would be better off in the long run.
I will be interested to see how this plays out in Marion County. Anyone have any insight into the operational differences between a dedicated Juvenile Court and the Family Court model?
An interesting step in tracking sex offenders.

But I do wonder about this...

"Residents won’t be notified about offenders deemed by the state as the least dangerous - for example, those who must register with their local sheriff for only 10 years rather than the rest of their lives, Lieutenant Wojciechowski said."

OK...the mommy in me is going to give some unsolicited advice to anyone who cares to hear it.

Please, please, please DO NOT take your children to see The Passion of the Christ.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Resource for Moms who exclusively pump

In a recent issue of Parenting from the Heart, a mom asked if anyone knew of a website for moms who exclusively pump for their babies. That same issue contained a beautiful story by a mom who has exclusively fed her child with breastmilk by pumping (her child was unable to nurse due to medical reasons--just read the story).

I was certain that the web is so large, there must be resources for moms who exclusively pump. I have found a message board for moms who exclusively pump at iVillage. Medela also has an information page for moms who exclusively pump.

Maybe someone will be inspired to create a website devoted to Moms who exclusively pump. I had promised myself that if my daughter and I couldn't get the breastfeeding thing working, I would exclusively pump for her. I was fortunate in that we finally got the hang of it and are still nursing, 20 months later. I have friends who tried to exclusively pump when their children weaned before their first birthdays. They invariably gave up, frustrated at the pumping process. Truth be told, while nursing is obviously an enjoyable bonding experience, pumping is considerably less fun and can occasionally be painful. I am amazed at the commitment and devotion exhibited by the moms on the message board.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Yet another quiz:

You're a Narn! Your hobbies include reading aloud
from hand-written holy books, preserving your
family's honor, and wishing death upon the
Centauri. You carry your young around in a
pouch on your belly. Isn't that neat?

What species of Babylon 5 alien are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Well, I often thought a pouch would be handy while constantly carrying the little one around for the first eight or ten months. She's been walking since she was nine months, but she still likes to cuddle and be carried. Awwww. Hubby and I made a sling (thanks to Mayawrap), and for the next baby I think I want a pouch, so a Narn works for me.

Saturday, February 21, 2004


Say it isn't so! I was tooling around Save Farscape to see if there was any news about the mysterious mini-series currently in production in Australia when I saw this headline:

" Disney to Buy Muppets from Henson "

I don't know if I can even explain why this bothers me. I don't like Mickey Mouse, but I confess I've been acquiring the animated Disney movies for my daughter. Heck, I'll probably buy many of the old live action movies like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Parent Trap. But I have always prefered Warner Brothers cartoons to Disney--the former being clever and sassier while the latter always seemed excessively simple and dull. Muppets have always seemed to be more in the style of Warner Brothers--they were cute and cuddly enough to appeal to kids, but they always had enough sophistication and smart references to pop culture to satisfy adults.

More hope for Firefly

From Whedonesque, lots of hints from Universal that the movie will be made!

Nothing at the Hollywood Stock Exchange yet.

I'm a Yankee durn it!

According to the Yankee/Dixie quiz, I'm "43% (Yankee). Barely into the Yankee category."

Strange, because most of my answers came up with the Great Lakes region dialect (go figure).
Biased Research?

There has much ado about the alleged connection between the MMR vaccine and autism. The Lancet editors, which published the first study leading to the hub-bub, announced recently that they have discovered the scientists who performed the initial study had a "fatal conflict of interest." Apparently, when the study was published, the scientist failed to tell the Lancet that he was also conducting a study to determine if the families potentially harmed could take legal action. Some children actually participated in both studies.

As I've indicated before, when I see a conflict of interest that person and that "research" lose all credibility with me. Even more compelling is the fact that no other studies could link mmr to autism.

As a mommie, I've worried about the effect vaccines will have on my child. I worried because it seemed like we had a ridiculous number of vaccinations for such a small person. It really angers me to learn that this scientist had a pecuniary interest in linking mmr to autism.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Better than I could have possibly hoped!

Lupin - Defense Against the Dark Arts

Harry Potter: Which Hogwarts professor would you be?
brought to you by Quizilla

And I thought getting McGonagall would have been good.

Way cool. I love Lupin. That just made my day!

Thursday, February 19, 2004

TV Nonsense

Just two points about my recent television viewing:

1. My daughter really appreciated Puppet Angel.

2. I thought that Joey's interpretation of French was the funniest thing I'd seen on Friends in some time. And then they topped it with the milk joke during the credits.

No one really cares about these things, but I thought I'd share anyway.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

More Search Oddities

Well recently people have dropped by looking for:

"most sensitive home pregnancy"--Now I can't claim to be an expert because I've only been through the one pregnancy but I believe that most pregnancies are fairly sensitive, whether they are at home, at work or anywhere else. I believe the word you should have included was "test."

One poor soul was looking for "head banging toddlers". I can only assume you were looking for what we posted here and here, rather than toddlers who enjoy heavy metal music. I hope you found some thing useful. At least you know you are not alone.

Another desperate parent searched the internet for: toddlers hysterically crying. I'm not sure you could find anything to help you here. I still don't always understand why my daughter starts randomly crying. I have to remind myself to think like a toddler to sort it out. I really, really hope you found something you could use elsewhere.

And finally, the one that really has my curiosity piqued: eleven percent of women refuse to wear these. What is it?????

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Well, I may just be forced to branch out an blog about serious legal topics here. Today, after 24 years as an electrical engineer with the same company, my father was fired. For what reason, you ask? The reason given was that there just "aren't any jobs coming in." Want to bet they replace him with a 22-year-old-fresh-out-of-college-kid in the coming weeks? So I am frantically researching employment law and age discrimination issues. Let me tell you something I've discovered already...there is no such thing as loyalty. The employers don't care, the Supreme Court don't care...I don't even know why they bother to have age discrimination legislation when it is so completely impossible to prove. that I won't rant further, I will cease blogging now.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Well, Angel has been cancelled

That will cut my tv viewing nights to three: One for Joan of Arcadia (if it is renewed), one for That 70's show and one for Scrubs ( I can't believe I forgot Scrubs when I first posted this). Too bad. Angel wasn't as good as Firefly, but it is/was the one of the freshest, funniest show on tv.

This, of course, does not include my Trading Spaces, While You Were Out, What Not to Wear, Sesame Street, and Blues Clues viewing.

Friday, February 13, 2004

Happy Friday the Thirteenth!

Just had to get that in before it ceased being Friday the Thirteenth in my neck of the woods.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

The Benefits of Being a Daddy's Girl

My husband is a wonderful father. He is a stay at home dad who has been actively involved with our daughter since before she was born. He went to every pre-natal visit with me. He indulged in stuffed animals and such even before I did. I have a fantastic memory of him just holding our daughter in his two hands and staring adoringly early one morning while we were still in the hospital. He stayed every night in the hospital and really only left to get a shower and something to eat. I look forward to raising her with him because I know the strength of their relationship will help shape the strength of the person she becomes.

I recently read a beautiful article at Baby Zone discussing the many benefits of having such an active daddy in a girl's life. It notes that a father shapes his daughter's perceptions of the opposite sex, he affects how she will interact with the opposite sex, he influences how his daughter views her own femininity, he helps develop her interest in sports and physical fitness, and interestingly, the article asserts that girls with strong male role models enter puberty later. The article also highlights the Dads and Daughters organization, which promotes healthy father daughter relationships.

The article offers lots of tips for dads of daughters. In short: Be there, appreciate her uniqueness as a girl, appreciate her uniqueness as a person, listen, and "be her father not her mother." More gushing: My husband is an ace at all of them.

The article is lengthy, and Baby Zone can be incredibly slow loading, but it is well worth reading. An active daddy (or other strong, consistent male role model) is one of the best gifts any child can have.
Or you could take a quiz

Chocolate Chip Cookie
What Kind of Cookie Are You?

brought to you by Quizilla

Oooh. Time for a bloggy challenge: Which cookie are you ME2? I know which cookie I think you are.
Or you could talk about your kid...

I'm very excited: Today she said two new words!

Hubby flipped to ESPN and saw the Westminster Kennel Show. She pointed to the screen and said, "Dog dog dog dog."

Later she saw a train on tv and said, "Choo choo."

I'm thrilled because she hasn't said much that I understand since the "I got ooo" incident.
C'mon ME2!

When you've run out of things to blog, it's time hit the memes! I'd love to see how you mind works. ;o) I obviously hit the memes pretty hard. You can go to Globe of Blogs to find some interesting memes.

For today's meme, I've selected Daydreaming on Paper. After hitting the "Inspire Me" button a few times to get something that would inspire me, this is what I got:

List 10 things from your childhood that you wish all children could have or experience.

1. Parents who love them.
2. Older Brothers (yeah I know--someone wouldn't have an older brother because they would be the older brother...)
3. A true best friend, full of imagination
4. Drinking cold pop out of glass bottles on a warm summer day near fields of black-eyed susans and queen anne's lace.
5. Access to lots of books
6. Dandelion bouquets
7. Mud puddles in which to splash
8. Safety from predators
9. Grandparents who dote on them and lots of loving aunts, uncles and cousins
10. Homemade ice cream, shucking corn, snapping peas and a farm (or at least acres of land) to roam.

Well, that was the best I could do off the top of my head.

I am completely at a loss for anything to blog about. Could it be that perhaps I burnt myself out by blogging every day? I wonder if anyone has conducted a study...

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Search engine oddity

I was checking our site meter tonight to see what kind of referrals we were getting. Today someone was looking for "woman breasfeeds puppy" and they found us. We were number seven. Even more stunning, a Bolivian woman actually did breastfeed her puppies after their mother died.

Now I've loved my pets in the past, but I don't know that I would love them that much.

Monday, February 09, 2004

A friend told me about MOPS and I'm wondering if anyone has any other insight. I'm thinking it might be nice for my hubby to have an evening to himself, so I might sign me and my son up at our local church group...but I don't want to waste my time if it's no good. Email us and let me know.
Well, we did it. We finally complicated our lives beyond repair (yes, there is something even more complicating than children)...and we will never again be able to travel at will. We bought horses. And peeking at the website where our horses are listed today shows that they are officially "reserved" and "Ohio bound!" I'm so excited, I just can't even put it into words.
True Success
"There are many ways to measure success; not the least of which is the way your child describes you when talking to a friend.
- Unknown"

Friday, February 06, 2004

And I haven't talked about breastfeeding for a while so.....

Here is a fantastic article about the benefits of breastfeeding during various stages of a baby's growth.

If you couldn't breastfeed your baby as long as you might have liked, read this article and feel encouraged about the good you did for your child while you were breastfeeding. A day or two of nursing is a huge gift to your new child.

If you are thinking about weaning, read this article to decide if you've given your baby enough of the benefits of breastmilk.
Because I wanted to be an archeologist when I was ten:

Here are links to the recent discovery of a 1,400 year old Anglo Saxon king (the blue bowl is gorgeous) and to the museum page.

And Lots of information about the Kennewick Man (roughly 9,000-10,000 years old):

I've been following the Kennewick Man story for a few years. As much as I support tribal rights, I honestly believe that the court got this one right.

Fascinating stuff.
How tough was my day?

So tough, that on my down time I am:

  1. watching Down With Love in one window (again--did I mention they didn't force Ewan to have an American accent?),
  2. while browsing about four other windows
  3. and im-ing with my brother.

I was thinking about cross-stitching too, but I don't think I can swing it.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Because I'm feeling Meme-ish

The Thursday Threesome courtesy of the Back Porch:

Anyone can miss a Day:: (from a comment from one of dan's readers)

Onesome: Anyone-- Has anyone made an impression on you lately? No, not on the national level, but at work or school or just 'around'. ...or even here on the web?
Well, I've recently started a new job that is very different from my old job. I'm working with a new group of people and I'm getting to know a new set of personalities. Some people are making impressions rather quickly, but I'm really trying to take my time sizing them up.

Twosome: can Miss-- Speaking of webbish things (and of course we are !), what types of things do you take a miss on at your place and chose not to post about? Just curious... I don't post about national politics--wmd, Bush, the primaries. I suppose for several reasons. One is so many people are blogging about this stuff that I don't have much to add to the dialogue. So few people are aware of juvenile law issues, I'd rather spend time highlighting those areas (and of course blathering about random stuff).

Threesome: a Day-- On a similar note: do you post every day? ...or just whenever? ...or is every session at the computer a spur to work up a little something? Well, my blogging was abysmal this fall. I think I was letting work stresses interfere. But I've resolved to blog regularly and I've been doing pretty well for the past month. Eleven more to go!

What a clever meme.
Random Mutterings

I have a list of things about which I want to blog but I can't because:

1. Connection is down to 21.6 tonight--so painfully slow that it would take hours to do the work on just one post.

2. I have been spending my down time a little differently this week. A few nights I put a DVD in the computer (Down With Love--fantastic spoof of those 50's and 60's romantic comedies. Plus it has the delightful Ewan. I realized that it is my only good Ewan DVD--he's in Emma but I would guess that he was drinking heavily during the shooting because it's not his best performance. I'll definitely need to increase my Ewan DVD collection soon). Well that was a tangent. Anyway, I put the DVD in and Cross-stitched. Cross-Stitching completely relaxes me (unless I make a mistake and spend twice the time unstitching as I did with the initial stitching). Plus I'm desperately trying to finish a project for a certain mommy blogger I know whose birthday is very soon. It won't be done on time, but since I've been working on it for two or three years, I figure a month late won't matter too much! Here's a link to my favorite designer--she has the best use of color and the most incredible details.

3. Tonight I spent about an hour recording voicemail messages to my pc. Why you ask? Well, I lose access to my work voice mail after this week due to the new job. But I've been saving about ten messages over the last year and a half that involve my daughter. Silly things like, "she likes the Jerry Garcia documentary," or "she hates eating pears with me too," or "we're watching the NCAA tourney." I used to play the messages at work when I was having a bad day. Just listening to the little moments my daughter and hubby enjoyed (and sometimes hearing her chatter in the background) really brightened my day. I wanted to keep the messages "permanently" hence tonight's recording efforts. After an hour, I had acceptable versions of each message. I'm pleased with my efforts.

Anyway, tonight is just a quick on and then off again night for me. I promise bigger blogging over the weekend. I can feel free to comment on the Casey Foundation business! When I heard the initial story, my first thought was, "Well, I wonder whose desk that phone message is sitting on?" Now I can honestly say that I'm glad it wasn't someone at the Court who dropped the ball. I suspected it would be some poor low-level employee who would get the blame (and the subsequent axe) I'm glad the Court didn't live up to my expectations.

On a side note...wouldn't it be nice if the Court itself was seeking out these sorts of resources and not depending on the foundations to call them first with "offers" of help? I mean, shouldn't there be someone within that bureaucracy who should be entrusted with this responsibility? I can think of a few people who might qualify...but I'm sure none have even been approached about the possibility. I hope the Court finds the lesson in this Casey business and runs with it...though my expectations are again preventing me from believing that it will happen.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

And we, the editors, opine that you are really, really bad.

Well the PD editorial board has chimed in regarding the recent revelation that the Annie E. Casey Foundation would like to help the court. (I mentioned the previous article here).

The editorial appears to clear up a detail that confused me in the original article: The Annie E. Casey Foundation contacted the Cuyahoga County Government about the local Juvenile Court, rather than contacting the court itself. Does that make any sense? Shouldn't the foundation have sought out the organization it wanted to help? The County Government is a separate branch of government with only the power of the purse to control the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court. Although that is a great deal of power, technically, the Court could compel the Commissioners to give it any funding it desires by court order (within reason of course--I doubt that the Court could require the Commissioners to provide ice cream machines in every courtroom...)

It appears that Lee Trotter, an administrator at the County Justice Affairs Department confessed that he failed to return calls to the Foundation. So the Court didn't refuse help offered? It was the County government once again failing to support its Juvenile Court? Well I'm not shocked. I've heard rumors that the Justice Affairs Department may be folded. Is this the public beginning of its end?

The editorial falls apart at the end by taking a shot at the current Administrative Judge at the Court: "Administrative Judge Joseph Russo said he wouldn't mind help from the foundation, but he maintains the court has done well on its own. He said all three studies are out of date, and he has his own reports showing that the judges are resolving cases faster, and that the number of youngsters in detention has dropped.

That show of progress would have more credibility if Lubow and his fellow Casey Foundation consultants could provide independent confirmation. "

The fact is that all studies are out of date. And even if the consultants do a new study, it will be out of date by the time it is released. I've got no reason to doubt the numbers provided by the judge. Basically the PD seems to say, "Don't confuse us with the facts, we have an agenda to promote." I wish I knew what the agenda was. Is it the downfall of the Justice Affairs Department? My guess is that it involves the new detention/intervention center. Lately, the PD has found a way to bring up the number of beds proposed in every article involving the Court. Are the commissioners backing out of the Quincy Avenue site? Or does the Juvenile Court no longer desire that site and the Commissioners are using the PD to tell the Court they better take what they can get?

I have a lot of questions after reading this editorial. I don't think they are the ones the PD intended though.

Auggghhh! What was that?

Joss Whedon you are a very bad man.

How could you kill off one of my all time favorite characters? And do it using foreshadowing with the subtlety of a sledghammer? And do it in a lame way?

And worst of all: In spite of the lameness and the obviousness of it, you gave me a big old lump in my throat that has yet to go away.
Do you know anything about the whereabouts of Carlie Brucia? This video image shows her with a man. Who is he?

What has happened to Carlie? This is what she looks like. If you know anything about where she is...please contact authorities.

She will be in my prayers.
This just ticks me off.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Just Mundane Now

Well the internet is too slow to do what I need to blog, so I'll try tomorrow.

Hubby is bathing the Baby Girl so it's my turn to do the dishes. And I'm getting looks that say, "get a move on lady."

I need one more post to correct some changes to the template. I'll have to try this blogging stuff tomorrow. 'Nite.
Friday Five Millionaire Edition

(Figured I'd do this while I wait for stuff to happen and they're giving me money this time! Okay not really--but allow me to fantasize).

You have just won one million dollars:

Yay! Wait. Is that one million dollars before or after taxes?

1. Who do you call first?
Well if I'm not home with hubby, I'd call hubby. However, he is the keeper of the tickets so I assume he's the one calling me. I'd probably call my mom.

2. What is the first thing you buy for yourself?

Buy nothing. The first thing I'd do is pay all my debts and all hubby's debts. Then I'd go to the book store and start throwing things in a basket. Then I'd hit an on-line needlework store and buy more projects than I can possibly do in my lifetime--or at least before my eyes are too bad to cross stitch.

3. What is the first thing you buy for someone else?

I'd buy hubby a car. Then I would set up trusts for my daughter, and my nephews and niece.
And we'd probably buy a home rather than rent.

4. Do you give any away? If yes, to whom?

At least 10 percent to charity. Places like the SIDS Alliance, March of Dimes, Rails to Trails, Save the Children, the Nature Conservancy, the Women's Hall of Fame. Just to name a few. Maybe try to help some local battered women's shelters.

5. Do you invest any? If so, how?

Of Course. But I don't know much about investing so I would need to do some research first.

Unfortunately, I couldn't quit my job on one million. It just doesn't go as far as it used to.
Mini Rant

My home computer is running painfully slow tonight. I'm actually trying to blog some things and it is taking FOREVER to get pages to load. We use dial-up at home and it says it's 46.6 kbps, but I think it is lying to me.

Also from my mom:

1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.
2. The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.
3. The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country, and who are very good at crosswords.
4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don't really understand the Washington Post. They do, however, like their statistics shown in pie Charts.
5. The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn't mind running the country, if they could spare the time, and if they didn't have to leave LA to do it.
6. The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country and did a far superior job of it, thank you very much.
7. The New York Daily News is read by people who aren't too sure who's running the country, and don't really care as long as they can get a seat on the train.
8. The New York Post is read by people who don't care who's running the country, as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.
9. The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren't sure there is a country ... or that anyone is running it; but whoever it is, they oppose all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions if the leaders are handicapped minority feminist atheist dwarfs, who also happen to be illegal aliens from ANY country or galaxy as long as they are Democrats.
10. The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country but need the baseball scores.
11. The National Enquirer is read by people trapped in line at the grocery store.

Additon by mom:
The Cleveland Plain Dealer is read by people who don't really give a crap about who's running for president because no government official can make the doggone snow go away which would be the sign of TRUE power!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I got this from my mom, and thought it was worth posting.

Women throughout America will "Go Red For Women" this February
to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease, women's number one
killer. "Go Red for Women" is the American Heart Association's
national call for women to make it a top priority to take charge
of their heart health and to live stronger, longer lives.

Go red and join "National Wear Red Day for Women." On Friday,
Feb. 6, 2004, everyone is encouraged to wear red, such as a red
dress, shirt, hat or other items, in support of all women who
have been touched by cardiovascular disease. Red is the
American Heart Association's color representing women and heart
disease. Red symbolizes women's power to take control of their
health and passion for the women whose lives have been affected.

Heart disease and stroke claim more women's lives each year.
While one in 29 women die of breast cancer, one out of every 2.4
women die of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular
diseases. According to an American Heart Association survey, 90
percent of women feel they have power over their health, but
only 27 percent say their health is a top priority. This lack of
urgency about such a serious health threat contributes to the
deaths of more than 500,000 American women every year.

The American Heart Association's goal is to empower women to
reduce their risk of heart disease. "Go Red For Women" outlines
a plan to help women take action against heart disease and make
heart disease prevention a part of their life.

Call 1-888-MY-HEART or visit to receive a
heart health tool kit with tips and information to help you stay
heart healthy, plus details about free AHA lifestyle programs.
And remember, on Friday, Feb. 6, "Go Red!"
OK is a study that sounds interesting (and we could probably get some sort of funding to do it too). For those that don't know...ME1 and I are always saying, "Why didn't we think of doing that study...we could be famous." So I'm always on the lookout for an interesting possibility.
I know I went to the doctor too many times while I was I know why.
The Homeschool Legal Defense Association has an excellent resource on their website for state laws governing homeschooling.
Would it be ok if we DIDN'T talk about the SuperBore Halftime Show? I mean, I heard the proposed lineup and deliberately didn't watch. I figured it would be tactless and disgusting...and they didn't disappoint me. But I figure, if you chose to watch a proposed lineup of Justin Timberlake, Janet Jackson, P. Diddy, Kid Rock, pretty much got what was expected. So can everyone stop beating that dead horse? How about focusing on something important like...oh...the non-existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?
grrrr...I got a computer virus today. It was disguised as a "question to seller" through eBay. They have this thing where you can ask a seller a goes through their service, but is delivered to your registered email. Well...I got an email asking me a question as though I were the seller of an item. I thought, "uh-oh, somebody has stolen my ID and is selling things (I have a couple friends who this happened to)." So I clicked on the link "to see this item" and got the virus alert from my computer. Luckily, the anti-virus program took care of it and there was no damage, but it still ticked me off. And since this is a new version of the popular scam, where you have to send them information, I thought I would post about it. I didn't have to send them any information...all I did was click on a link and I got a virus! If I find out who is responsible there will be he!! to pay!

Monday, February 02, 2004

First Response is the most sensitive home pregnancy test. That's what I used last time and it worked great. I guess I'll stick with it next time (I'll let you know when you can get excited...for those that care).